Gil retires

Koldo Gil surrenders and retired from professional bike racing

Koldo Gil surrenders and retired from professional bike racing (Image credit: AFP)

Koldo Gil retired from professional bike racing, after he was unable to find a team for 2009. The 31-year-old has ridden for the teams Banesto, ONCE, Liberty Seguros, Saunier Duval and last year with the Portuguese team Liberty Seguros.

He was initially linked to Operación Puerto in 2006. "It is illogical. My name appeared in a list and since that moment I have been condemned," Gil said to "Of course I did not like this fact but I especially do not understand what happened afterwards."

Gil blamed the UCI for playing with the fear of the sports directors, which makes it hard to find a team. "I can understand a sports director who has to guard the salaries of many people," Gil said.

The Spaniard always denied having been in contact with Eufemiano Fuentes, the doctor in the centre of the Puerto affair, and that any of the blood bags belong to him. He sent a letter to Pat McQuaid, the president of the International Cycling Union (UCI). Gil offered to give a DNA sample and to show his innocence this way. "The UCI did not answer me," Gil said.

"Taking the decision to retire was not difficult, even if it seems very radical. The problem was not the physical fatigue: in the last four years I only competed 30 days per year. But I was exhausted mentally."

Gil added that he was unable to concentrate on his work. " It also affected my everyday life. I had no force to go on, for this I retire now."

Gil had no regrets. "I am not angry. I love cycling, I will go on cycling in my free time and I will go to see races, but I wanted to do other things."(MP)

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